As What’s Good to Play is a website dedicated to reviews of board games, it comes as no surprise that I just love to play board games. I loved to play games as a child and still do now, my favourite game was always Monopoly (a classic game that I still love playing today). I like to play a variety of games and recently have been playing a lot of games that I loved to play in my childhood: Snakes & Ladders, Ludo, Solitaire and Chinese Chequers (aka Chinese Checkers or Halma) as well as the classic board games such as The Game of Life and Go For Broke.
I first played Chinese Chequers as a child. Because of its name I always wrongly assumed it was called that because it originated in China. Well, it didn’t, and it isn’t a Chinese game. Actually, it was invented in Germany around 1892 based on the American game of Halma, making it over 130 years old! A classic board game that is still bought and played today by children, adults and families.
Chinese Chequers is a strategy board game for 2-6 players, age 7+ and has a playing time of anywhere from 10 minutes to 30 minutes. It generally features a circular board (but can come in different shapes) featuring a hexagram pattern (a six pointed star) and 60 coloured pegs. The aim of the game is to move your 10 pegs from one point of the star to the opposite point.
In the box:
- Wooden Game Board
- 60 Coloured Pegs (6 Sets of 10 Different Colours)
- Instructions / Rules
To play, each player has ten pegs, each player will have a different colour. Each player fills their triangular point on the star with their pegs. The goal is for players to move all their pegs from their point of the star into the opposite point of the star, using single-step moves or jump moves over other pegs. The first player to make it across the board and fill the opposing star point with all their pegs wins the game.
Players take it in turns to move one of their pegs to an adjacent hole on the board. They can jump over pegs that are blocking their way to the adjacent hole immediately beyond it (there must be a space to jump into). It is an easy game to learn and play, but it is also a challenging and strategic game. Players must plan their moves carefully, whilst also being flexible and be able to adapt to the constantly changing situation on the board and the moves of the other players. Do you try and block your opponent’s moves? Set up your own pegs to jump over? Try to stay out of the path of your opponents to give them fewer jumping opportunities? Players must find a balance between advancing their own pegs and blocking their opponent’s ones.
Overall, Chinese Chequers is a fun, fast thinking and strategic game. I think it is just as good now as it was when I was playing as a child. It is also a very social game, one that encourages interaction and talk around the table. A game that lets you enjoy the company of the other players and has excellent game play with friends and family.
Chinese Chequers can be played with 2, 3, 4 or 6 players and the difficulty level can even be adjusted by using fewer pegs or allowing backward moves.
The premise of the game is simple but playing it can be complex depending on the strategies players use, making it an interesting and enjoyable game. It is a game that can be played over several rounds without any boredom setting in.
The pegs are easy to move and slot into the holes and are a good size so that players of any age can play. It is a great game for children, adults and families to play.
I think that Chinese Chequers is an excellent game for family and friends and is value for money due to its competitive playability and fun factor. If you like classic board games, then Chinese Chequers is one to add to the board games shelves or cupboards. Friends and families will have lots of fun enjoying the competitive nature of playing it.
Available to buy from Amazon here.